Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Happy father’s Day!

superdad.jpg

It was father’s day yesterday down here at the end of the world. My husband was working for much of it but he did spend some time with one of our sons (the other one is away at uni at the moment) and he had celebratory meals at the beginning and end of the day with us. As always he didn’t want us to make a fuss…seems to me they never do. Our real live heroes roll their sleeves up and get on with things, avoiding the drama whether it be good or bad. But we know they are there always encouraging and enthusiastic and supportive and with a seemingly endless supply of bad dad jokes!

IMG_0592

They wouldn’t want to admit it, but I see my husband in my boys’ mannerisms, the way they sit on the couch in a certain way (like three peas in a pod!), I hear him in their voices and laughs. I also see the caring and staunch belief system they share with him, the same values and sense of humour and it warms my heart that they have such a good role model in their lives.

Dads are big in romance right now too…we’ve celebrated on this blog the coverage we had for the single dads in medical romance and their very hot covers. I’ve just finished writing a secret baby romance for the med line (due out in April/May, title as yet to be decided) and I had to admit to falling a little bit in love with Finn as he embraced unexpected fatherhood in the hardest of circumstances. He knew without a doubt that he would love this child and protect it forever.

So, here’s to the real life heroes in our lives! How do you spend Father’s Day?

Advertisements
Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Reviews?

They’re the things that strike fear into every author’s heart as she clicks on the amazon book page…will they love the book? Will they hate it? Is it meh?

As authors we’re told not to look at reviews, but I have to confess I can’t help it. A few good words can send me on a happy writing day, a few bad ones can crush me for a few hours. But why do we have them? Are they useful? Do other readers pay any attention to them?

Heart page and blank white space letterboxFor authors, other than ego-rubbing or ego-deflating, reviews can be helpful to secure future book deals, can help get the book onto various sales websites (such as Bookbub who, so I’ve heard, won’t take a book unless it’s got at least 20 4-5 star reviews) and can sometimes make the difference between a sale or a pass for the unsure reader.

I’ve had my fair share of mixed reviews, but when I get a bad one I hop on over to Goodreads and read some of the reviews of some of the ‘great’ books of literature. I thought I’d have some fun and share some with you. Can you guess which books these review are from? Answers at bottom of the page.

A) This is a two star review from one of the 85,000 two star reviews for this book (there are 113,000 five star reviews too):

I FINISHED THE BOOK I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SEE THE DAY. Granted, I blasted through eight of my nine lives to do so, but here I am. On my last legs, weak, tired, and hungry beyond any possible description, but I’m alive…

Same book, 1 star review: This book is quite possibly the most insipid novel I have ever read in my life. Why this book is so highly treasured by society is beyond me. It is 345 pages of nothing. The characters are like wispy shadows of something that could be interesting, the language that could be beautiful ends up becoming difficult to decipher and lead me more than once to skip over entire paragraphs because I became tired of having to stumble through them only to emerge unsatisfied, and the plot is non-existent

Same book 5 star review: Near perfection! ***** is one of those rare gems that weds character, plot and language all in one harmonious marriage. 

B) 5 star review (one of 57,000 5 star reviews)

Let me start by saying…. Wow! Just Wow!!

This book is 5+ stars for me!! It is my favorite kind of story. You know what I mean…just so intense that the characters get so far under your skin that you can’t stand to be away from them for any length of time? Well, that was me while reading this book, I couldn’t concentrate to get anything done 🙂

Same book 1 star: I honestly do NOT feel like revisiting this book and writing a review. I’d rather spend the time searching for ways to remove this utter nonsense from my memory. However, this book is so bad that I feel the need to warn others from this drivel. Luckily, I did not buy this garbage.

C) 1 star review (one of 3.3 million reviews!!)

If I could give this no stars, I would. This is possibly one of my least favorite books in the world, one that I would happily take off of shelves and stow in dark corners where no one would ever have to read it again.

Same book, 5 star review: In the course of 5 years, I’ve read this book nearly 17 times. That adds up to reading it once at least every 4 months, on an average. And I still return to this book like a bark seeking a lighthouse in the dark. When I first finished it, I was so overwhelmed by how much I related to it, I read it nearly 8 times before the year ended. By now I’ve memorized almost every scene and I still can’t shake off the feeling that I still have to learn a lot from it. Over the years, I realize that without knowing it, it has become my personal Bible – a beacon to keep me from straying from the path of kindness and compassion, no matter what.

Just goes to show that reading is very subjective! But be assured that a review of an author’s book is very, very helpful to their ratings, which in turn can help their career. So if you have a chance, please do add your thoughts to an amazon/nook/kobo page.

Do you write reviews? Do reviews influence your buying? 

As an aside, I have a new book out! Something About You is now available exclusively on Amazon. Here’s the blurb:

Will they risk their friendship for a night of unbridled passion?

A broken heart …
Widow Jenna Cassidy-Pearce has had her one love of a lifetime. Now she’s fine being single and focusing on her new floristry business, raising her daughter and spending time with her friends. On top of all that she’s also organizing a very secret wedding for her sister, the wedding-shy wedding planner. Jenna’s life is a whirlwind of busy-but-in-control, and that’s just how she likes it – it keeps the loneliness and the longing at bay. So when old friend Nick Welsh comes back into her life she’s not prepared for the onslaught of emotions and unwelcome lust she feels for him.

A damaged soldier …
After surviving bombs and bombshells that damaged his life and destroyed all trust, ex army officer Nick Welsh has returned to London for a quiet life. He definitely does not want to get embroiled in Jenna’s chaotic one, but there’s something about the spirited redhead with the sparkling blue eyes and complete inability to sit still that makes him keep seeking her out, and there’s a whole lot of chemistry he just can’t deny.
The healing power of love
Is he ready to trust again? And can he teach Jenna that everyone deserves another chance at love?
A fun story about family, second chances, old friends and new love.

Somthing About You - High Resolution!

Answers: A) Pride and Prejudice   B) 50 Shades of Grey    C) To Kill A Mockingbird

Do you write reviews? Do reviews influence your buying? 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Mayday, mayday…

Happy 1st May!

may 1st

For many around the world today is a day of fun and rest and a day off work. For the rest of us, it’s just another normal work day (down here in NZ we don’t celebrate May day but we do have a Labour Day in October in our spring).

People celebrating midsummer with dance around the maypole
spring flowers

Traditionally 1st May celebrates spring (and an official wave goodbye to winter), it’s the pagan festival of Beltane and there’s a good deal of Morris dancing and maypole dancing happening (well, it did in the north of England where I grew up!). I remember going to spring festivals and fairs as a child and carrying freesia flowers to church for the May procession and wishing wishing wishing I’d get picked as the May queen (fyi; never happened.) I remember day trips out to the seaside and walking huddled half over along a freezing seafront pretending it was warm and sunny, eating candy floss and breathing bracing sea air. It’s also a day set aside for International Workers Day and for, oddly, chimney sweeps, as it’s one guaranteed day they could take off and have fun. I’m so glad I’m not a chimney sweep- one day of fun? Like, for a whole year? Yikes.

legs of dancing morris men

Down here in the middle of autumn it’s hard to think about spring shoots, we’re busy harvesting the rest of our veggies and wondering what to do with a glut of green capsicum (answer: soup). It’s getting cold now and I’ve got the heater blowing warm air as I write this. I’m chasing a deadline and would be working regardless of whether it’s a day off for workers or not. This worker needs to get the book finished on time.

So, are you celebrating May day? What are you doing? If not, what would be your perfect way to spend a day off work?

may chalkboard

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

7 reasons for a coffee fix

It may be very unEnglish and a blasphemy to my tea-obsessed British heritage but the first thing I reach for in the morning is a cup of coffee. Then, at about 11am I do the same. And then again around 2pm… I think it’s safe to say, I LOVE it and would be hard pressed to function without it. I’ve just been thinking about the characters in my 20 books and I don’t think I’ve ever referred to anyone drinking tea…perhaps that’s not a proper reflection of the general population? LOL

img_4357
Coffee berries still on the tree, Hawaii

There are lots of benefits to coffee drinking, apparently:

  1. It makes you smarter… something to do with neurotransmitters and increased firing of neurons. Bring it on, I say!

2. It’s a fat burner…need I say more?

img_4351
Coffee beans drying in the sun, Hawaii

3. It makes us faster, by increasing the adrenaline in our blood….having just had a cup I wish you could how fast my fingers are whizzing across the keypad! 😉

4. It contains lots of good things; manganese, potassium, magnesium and riboflavin (I have no idea what this does, but it used to be written on breakfast cereal packets near Niacin, so it must be good for us)

img_4345
Coffee bean close-up, before roasting, Hawaii

5. Potentially could protect against degenerative brain disease and Alzheimers… as someone with this terrible disease in the family I really, really hope it does.

6. It lowers the risk of depression

7. george

George.

That is all.

coffee

Are you a coffee aficionado? Instant? Bean? Purely tea? Both? Neither? Don’t care?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Happy 2017! Goals, resolutions and plans…

Wow, well 2016 was a real doozy, all things considered, and I’m glad to see the back of it, to be honest. But now we have a new year, a new slate and a new start. I love reflecting at this time of year and planning…planning good things and goals and being organised.

Toy bricks

I’m still thinking about the things I want to add into my life and the habits I want to drop, but here are a few of my perusings so far:

  1. Meditate

I have an app that I use sometimes and it’s great…when I do it. It makes me feel better and I’m more focused, I just need to add it in to my daily routine. 10 minutes a day. That’s all.

2. Eat more plant-based foods

Yeah, I’m stuffed full of turkey and trimmings and feel like a sloth. And don’t even ask about the duty free spirits we bought and drank!! I need a dose of green.

3. Do a chin up

Happy children are chinning up on the playground

No idea why. I just want to be able to do one like the girl in peach top. My boys have a bar they stick on the door frame. I have no excuses. I’ll report back and let you know how I go!!!

4. Spend only 30 minutes a day on social media

I have to do it for my job, but then it has to stop.

5. Play more

Geez, everything’s so serious and life is a lot about work. So, in the gaps, I’m going to get off Facebook and have some fun. We’ve started playing cards and board games again and I’m giving knitting a go, which is lovely….and… now the sad thing is, I’m trying to write a ‘fun’ list and can’t think of anything else. How did that happen?

-learn to crochet

-learn how to take decent photographs

-make some bread

-plan some trips (local day trips/afternoon walks/further afield drives to explore new places) and then do them!

-dust off the bike and try the new ‘pink’ cycle route in town

-plant some colour in the garden, then take time to sit out there and enjoy it

How about you? What are your goals, plans and resolutions for 2017? What are you going to do for fun?

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

What are you watching?

November means spring for us down here in the Southern hemisphere, so we’re blinking into the light and dragging ourselves away from TV screens in search of a tan and some much needed Vitamin D. But…we have had a glut of TV series to glom and feast on during the darker months. Of course, for those of you beginning the hibernating there’s a lot to catch up on…

Outlanderscreen-shot-2016-10-31-at-5-29-31-pm

Be still my beating heart! I didn’t read Cross stitch so I had no idea what I was in for. I have loved Every. Single. Moment. (Plus, I was so enamoured with the 18th century woollen clothes I’ve started doing a bit of knitting myself!). We’re now just getting to the end of season two and can’t wait for the next one!

The Bridge

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-5-31-56-pm(I know, it’s an old one, but I’m just catching up.)

I’m a huge fan of Nordic Noir, so enjoyed this murder mystery…about a body that is found on the bridge between Denmark and Sweden. Two cops–one from each country–have to work together to solve the whodunnit. Interesting…although it could have been a bit shorter. It has subtitles, so you do have to be quite focused. There was one point when we decided (that is, hubby and I) to play a drinking game every time they said ‘tak’ (thank you), but, amazingly, they say it A LOT, so that game didn’t last long.

Hunt For The Wilderpeople

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-5-36-35-pm

Not a series, but a film. If you haven’t seen this, then do so. NOW. I know I’m biased, because it’s a New Zealand film, but it’s funny and emotional and an adventure…about a boy put in less than perfect foster care then going on the run and being chased by hapless police and authorities. It’s won many awards across the globe…go on, watch it!

I’m getting a list ready of shows/movies I need to see and so far this includes:

Stranger Things (Any good?)

Preacher

Lucifer

Westworld

Any others? What are you watching or looking forward to, or have recently enjoyed? Any recommendations? 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Spring! Reasons to be cheerful…

Happy September! Which, to those of us in the southern hemisphere, means spring and all things new and fresh and hopeful. We’ve had a pretty soggy winter here in NZ, so it’s lovely to think we’re turning a corner.

I’m fighting a cold/cough here, at the moment, and my head’s in a funk so I thought I’d try cheer myself up with 5 things making me smile today:

IMG_4190.JPGMedications 😉

I am so thankful to the scientists who strive to make us feel better when, in reality, there’s not a lot we can do for the common cold except ride it out. But here’s what’s in my armoury today. I figured that if the paracetamol/tissues/cough lozenges don’t work then I can go to my grandma’s favourite remedy- a hot toddy!

IMG_4193.JPGColour in the garden!

Hurrah! my garden is starting to look less like a swamp and more like a place where I can sit and write/read/enjoy. So nice to have some warmer fresh air. I started to weed the herb garden yesterday and am looking forward to all the lovely summer herbs we’re going to grow.

 

 

 

IMG_4181.JPGPets!

New season= new furniture= cats new favourite place to sit. I now have to go outside armed with lint roll if I want to use my new sofas! (Bless them- 13 years old and still going strong)

 

Secret Art of Forgiveness.jpgNew Book!

I had a new book out on the 1st September. A bit of a departure for me as it’s more women’s fiction than romance. Here’s the blurb:

Living in a big city, means you can escape your past…
Until Emily Forrester is called back to Little Duxbury, the chocolate-box English village where she grew up – though it was anything but idyllic for the tearaway teenager. Her estranged step-father, a former high-court judge, is unwell and her step-sisters need her help.

It’s just a week, Emily tells herself, but faced with the lies – and hard truths – that drove her to leave in the first place is difficult enough. Having to cope with a step-father (and the only parent she has left) who is so unlike the man she remembers pushes Emily’s emotions in ways she hasn’t been tested in years – since her mother’s death.

They say home is where the heart is – but by the end of the week, Emily isn’t entirely sure which home that is.

Father’s Day

IMG_0592

Yesterday was NZ and Australia Father’s Day. Not sure why we have it when we do or why it’s different to other countries, but it was lovely to spend the day with hubster celebrating him. Unfortunately our boys are a two hour flight away, so it was just us at home, but we had a gorgeous lunch out, watched a documentary about rugby legend Richie McCaw and then met friends for pizza. But The Doc did get to chat to his sons via FaceTime and they both made a long distance fuss of him which was well deserved. Here’s to all the amazing dads!!!

What’s making you smile today?